fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Dutch gov to ease restrictions as 150,000 protest

Multi-day events and festivals in the Netherlands will likely be able to take place from 25 September under certain conditions.

According to nu.ul, the Dutch government is deciding on the conditions today, ahead of a press conference tomorrow (14 September) evening.

The conditions, which will be based on findings from Fieldlab Evenementen, will likely include a 75% capacity limit.

The cabinet is also considering how Covid certification and testing could aid the sector’s reopening.

“The culture sector is getting better news than has been leaked”

Culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven provided a glimmer of hope during her appearance on the Good Morning Netherlands programme this morning, saying: “The culture sector is getting better news than has been leaked so far. I am hopeful that things will go in the right direction tomorrow, also for the events.”

The news comes after an estimated 150,000 people across ten cities took part in the second Unmute Us protest on Saturday (11 September) to demand the immediate restart of major events.

Saturday’s march was the largest-ever protest in the Netherlands, more than doubling the attendance of the first demonstration on 21 August which drew 70,000.

“This second flawlessly organised demonstration proves once again how strong our industry is in this area”

More than 4,000 organisations joined the movement, including festivals Lowlands, Mysteryland, DGTL, Down the Rabbit Hole, Awakenings and Paaspop – all of which have been cancelled this year due to restrictions.

Ruben Brouwer, director at Mojo, which promotes Down the Rabbit Hole, Lowlands and Paaspop among others, says: “Our industry consists of professionals who can organise large-scale public events well, neatly and safely.

“This second flawlessly organised demonstration proves once again how strong our industry is in this area. The event industry has proven time and again that it can organise events safely. So there can be no other cabinet decision than full opening on 14 September.”

The protest comes after the Dutch government extended the ban on large-scale events until at least 19 September amid fears over the spread of the highly infectious delta variant.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

ID&T joined by raft of co-plaintiffs for gov case

More than 30 other event organisations including Event Warehouse/Paaspop, DGTL and F1 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort are joining ID&T as co-plaintiffs in its legal proceedings against the Dutch government.

ID&T, known for events such as Mysteryland, Sensation, Milkshake and Decibel Outdoor, announced on Friday (9 July) that it will initiate summary proceedings against the Dutch government over new Covid restrictions, which have been reimposed just weeks after they were lifted.

The co-plaintiffs say that the Dutch government’s decision to categorically ban non-seated public events and multi-day festivals until 14 August is “carelessly prepared and incorrect”.

The organisers have asked the judge in preliminary relief proceedings for permission to allow public events that meet the Fieldlab conditions.

Fieldlab’s conditions for organising a safe event, without social distancing, are based on findings from three months’ worth of pilot events, and have been endorsed by the Dutch government.

Dutch prime minister Rutte said the government won’t give any more clarity until 14 August for events after that date, leaving organisers in the dark.

“It is inexplicable to not have clarity of the conditions under which we can organise the event three weeks prior to the event”

Ritty van Straalen, CEO of ID&T, says: “We are overwhelmed by the support we received from our visitors, artists and partners in the past days. The fact that so many parties in the market are joining us reflects perfectly what the impact is on the entire public events industry.”

Imre van Leeuwen, managing director at F1 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort, says: “As a large-scale sports event, we deal with a long lead time and large financial risks. For us it is also inexplicable internationally to not have clarity of the conditions under which we can organise the event three weeks prior to the event. It’s even more disappointing that, despite the good work of Fieldlab Events and the high vaccination rate the Netherlands has achieved, we may not be able to make the event a huge success with the whole world watching.”

Joop Soree, CEO of The Event Warehouse, organiser of one of the biggest festivals in the Netherlands, Paaspop, and WiSH Outdoor, among others: “We join ID&T and the imminent summary proceedings because of the enormous (financial) consequences caused by the lack of clarity. We need to know where we, and the events industry, stand.”

The other parties that have joined the summary proceedings are Don’t Let Daddy Know, 24-uurs Solexrace, 4PM Entertainment, A Venue Events, Absolutely Fresh, Apenkooi, Apex Event Productions, BeetjeDansen Events, BZB, Chasing the Hihat, De Wijze Uil and E&A.

Elevations Events, Feestfabriek, First Vision, HockeyLoverz, Intents Events, Life Over Future, Minority Events, Nomads, One of the Guys, Par-T, Rebirth Events, Rotterdam Dance Parade, Sensation Events, Sportvibes, Thuishaven Events, Toffler, Trees of Live, UDC, and ZeeZout have also joined.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

ID&T to sue Dutch gov over “disproportionate” restrictions

ID&T, the promoter behind festivals including Mysteryland and Awakenings, has announced it is taking the Dutch government to court over new Covid restrictions, which have been reimposed just weeks after they were lifted.

Prime minister Mark Rutte held a press conference last Friday (9 July), in which he announced that restrictions would renew on 10 July and remain until 14 August, in an effort to halt a sudden surge in Covid-19 restrictions.

Under the new measures, multi-day events will be banned and only one-day festivals will be permitted until 14 August, provided visitors are given a seat and no more than a thousand people attend.

In the press conference, Rutte said the government won’t give any more clarity until 14 August for events after that date – leaving organisers in a stalemate situation.

ID&T called the measures “disproportionate” and announced that the company would be filing a draft subpoena with the court today (12 July).

“It is our expertise to organise events well and safely and we know that our audience has the discipline,” says said Ritty van Straalen, CEO of ID&T.

“It feels like a death knell for our industry”

“We are now the good who suffer from the bad and it seems that the government prefers holidays over festivals. You can’t go into recess at a crucial moment like this and leave the industry dangling. Young people are disproportionately affected by these measures. The social importance of our industry is enormous.”

Mojo-promoted event A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (aka Lowlands) is due to take place on 20–22 August but festival director Eric van Eerdenburg tells IQ that the Dutch government has created an “unworkable situation”.

“For our festivals, Lowlands (20–22 August) and Down The Rabbit Hole (27–29 Aug), as well as suppliers and artists, this has created a lot of uncertainty. We are already building the infrastructure as we speak, and will continue to do so as we believe it should be possible to let them happen,” says Eerdenburg.

“Our belief is based on a constructive relationship between Mojo and the ministries of health and economic affairs, as well as the Outbreak Management Team that advises the government, we will get more clarity on how we can move on after close consultation in the next few days,” he added.

The Association of Dutch Poppodia and Festivals (VNPF) and the Association of Event Makers (VVEM) are also hoping to sit down with ministers to get a perspective on the summer season and discuss extra support measures.

In January, the government announced a €385 million insurance fund which would compensate organisers 80% of the costs of their event if it is cancelled due to state-enforced coronavirus measures.

“You can’t go into recess at a crucial moment like this and leave the industry dangling”

However, VNPF and VVEM are calling for the compensation to be increased to 100% and extended to organisers who have to cancel within an “unreasonably short period of time” but can’t claim under the scheme.

Eerdenburg says that Mojo is also pushing for the scheme to cover fees for UK artists, as well as those of Dutch and EU artists.

In a joint statement, the VNPF and VVEM wrote: “It feels like a death knell for our industry. Of course, it is understandable that measures are taken when the infection rate increases. However, within those measures, the industry that has not contributed to that higher infection rate at all is being hit hard. It was precisely our industry – the only industry in the Netherlands – that has actively sought solutions in recent months in collaboration with science and ministries.”

Fieldlab Evenementen – an initiative of the Dutch government and several trade bodies – recently revealed findings from three months’ worth of pilot events in the Netherlands show that the risk of Covid-19 infection, when following certain hygiene and testing protocols, is about the same as being at home.

According to OurWorldinData, daily cases in the Netherlands have risen almost sevenfold, from a rolling seven-day average of 49.2 per million people on 4 July to 328.7 on Sunday (11 July).

The Dutch prime minister today (12 July) acknowledged that the cabinet made an error of judgment with the rapid relaxation at the end of June. “What we thought was possible, was not possible.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Netherlands and Denmark go full capacity this summer

Live events will be permitted at full capacity in the Netherlands and Denmark – pre-pandemic, respectively Europe’s fifth- and eighth-largest live music markets – as early as this month provided fans can produce proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test.

The Dutch minister for economic affairs, Mona Keijzer, announced today (11 June) that ticketed events in the Netherlands may go ahead at 100% capacity after 30 June if they require a vaccination certificate or negative test (the latter a maximum of 40 hours old) from attendees. Currently, a minimum distance of 1.5 metres is required between each eventgoer.

The decision to lift the Netherlands’ final social distancing regulations comes on the back of encouraging results from Fieldlab Evenementen’s Back to Live, the world’s biggest pilot event programme, which revealed that the Covid-19 risk at live events is about the same as bring at home when following hygiene and testing protocols.

“It is great news that events such as festivals and concerts will soon be possible again thanks to the hard work of Fieldlab Evenementen,” says Keijzer. “We now use the insights gained by the Fieldlab organisation to adjust the roadmap. If you have been vaccinated, tested negative or have recovered from Covid-19, you can go to a festival or concert as you could before.”

The new rules initially apply only to ticketed single-day events, though multi-day events and overnight stays will be possible from 29 July, according to NU.nl.

“If you have been vaccinated, tested negative or have recovered from Covid-19, you can go to a festival or concert”

In Denmark, meanwhile, up to 10,000 people will be allowed at “public events” as of Monday (14 June), AFP/Reuters reports, thanks to the country’s Covid-19 ‘passport’, Coronapas, which certifies that the bearer has either tested negative for the coronavirus or is immune/vaccinated.

“We will be able to do everything that we have missed, because we now have the epidemic under control,” Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke told reporters earlier this week.

The loosening of restrictions initially applies only to outdoor events, with 11 August the date when any form of assembly limit (indoors or outdoors) is scheduled to attend, according to The Local. Additionally, there are different rules for music compared to sport and other live events: The live music industry is currently permitted only 2,000 guests for outdoor events and in sections of 500. From 1 July it will be 2,000, in sections of 1,000, and from 15 August it will be 10,000 attendees, albeit in sections of 2,500.

The Danish government is aiming for the Coronapas to be phased out completely by 1 October, when it is hoped enough people will be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The clarification on the rules from August onwards comes too late for Denmark’s major music festivals, which cancelled en masse last month citing a lack of information.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Fieldlab results: Infection risk ‘same as at home’

The findings from three months’ worth of pilot events in the Netherlands show that the risk of Covid-19 infection, when following certain hygiene and testing protocols, is about the same as being at home, organiser Fieldlab Evenementen has revealed.

Fieldlab – an initiative of the Dutch government and several trade bodies, including the pan-industry Alliantie van Evenementenbouwers (Alliance of Event Builders) – kicked off its Back to Live series of test events in February, with the most recent event, the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, taking place on 22 May with 3,500 fans in attendance. Other Fieldlab events included business conferences, festivals, arena shows, an awards ceremony and outdoor sports events in a range of formats and capacities.

The results from the first phase of the Back to Live pilots – all small, ‘type-one’ events with assigned seats, including a conference and a comedy show – were released in April, and showed that these types of events are safe without social distancing at 50% capacity.

More significantly, the findings released this week by Fieldlab, which draw on events such as a 1,300-person arena show and two 1,500-person festivals and organised by promoters Mojo and ID&T, conclude that shows may return safely at 100% capacity, even under the Netherlands’ ‘concern’ (zorgelijk) coronavirus risk level.

Based on Fieldlab’s research, led by Prof. Andreas Voss of the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, the organisation has now issued a series of recommendations, or a ‘matrix’, to the Dutch government demonstrating how festivals and other live events can be held safely this summer. A final report, which will also include infection figures from Eurovision, will be issued in the coming weeks.

“We can now open, and as an industry need never be completely closed again”

According to the Back to Live data, 100%-capacity events are possible under the Netherlands’ lower two risk levels (caution and concern), with a reduction in capacity necessary for levels three and four (serious and severe, respectively).

By risk level, Fieldlab’s recommendations are:

Riemer Rijpkema, a spokesperson for corporate events association Eventplatform and deputy chair of Fieldlab’s steering group, calls on the Dutch government to act on Fieldlab’s conclusions. “Fieldlab Evenementen have delivered great results to the cabinet, as well as concrete tools on how to act in each phase of the pandemic. We call on the members of the cabinet to adopt this matrix, embrace and use it for reformulating the regulations.

“There is a wealth of information from which one can learn in both the short and long term. We can now open, and as an industry need never be completely closed again.”

“Provided you take the right measures, the risk of getting infected at a Fieldlab event is the same as at home”

Willem Westermann of the Alliance of Event Builders, which represents live entertainment and sports professionals, adds: “The cabinet now has in their hands the key to to give the green light for the festival summer. The Fieldlab researchers have shown that this can be done, with additional measures and if we consider the risk level.

“Practical tests have shown that visitors are quite prepared, for example, to cooperate by having a rapid test beforehand. If the infrastructure for testing is properly put in place and the cabinet endorses these conclusions, there is almost nothing in the way of a great summer for the events industry.”

While the majority of Dutch regions are still in level four (severe), this should come down as the Netherlands’ vaccine roll-out continues. The government’s most recent weekly report on infection figures, issued on Tuesday (25 May), shows a “steady” downward trend in new cases of Covid-19.

Speaking to local broadcaster RTV Rijnmond, Fieldlab’s Dimitri Bonthuis says the team are “very happy with the results” from the Back to Live events. “It is absolutely good news,” he says. “Provided you take the right measures, the risk of getting infected at a Fieldlab event is the same as at home.”

The Fieldlab results follow similar positive data out of studies in the UK, Spain and Germany, all of which showed that live events do not pose a risk to public health while Covid-19 is still a threat.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Fieldlab vouches for 50-75% cap outdoor events

Fieldlab Events, the initiative behind a swathe of test shows in the Netherlands, has told the Dutch government that outdoor events should be allowed to take place at 50-75% of normal visitor capacity without social distancing, under certain measures.

The recommendations are based on the results of Fieldlab’s first outdoor tests, which comprised two football matches with 1,500 spectators each and one with 5,000 spectators.

Research was conducted using Fieldlab’s risk model which is aimed at limiting the residual risk that arises from events and considers factors including visitor behaviour, track and trace, rapid tests, occupancy and social distancing.

Research at three football matches showed that larger outdoor events are possible under the following strict conditions in the current Corona situation:

The cabinet is now consulting with the Outbreak Management Team on the research results

The cabinet is now consulting with the Outbreak Management Team on the research results.

Earlier this month, Fieldlab shared findings from the first part of its Back to Live test series, which involved a business conference and a cabaret show.

The Dutch initiative found that indoor seated events should be able to take place at 50% occupancy without social distancing. See more here.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

More than 1m registrations for 10k Fieldlab test

More than a million residents have signed up for Fieldlab’s largest test event yet, the 10,000-capacity 538 Koningsdag (King’s Day) festival in the Netherlands.

Registrations opened this week to unprecedented demand and all 10,000 tickets were raffled on Thursday (15 April) evening.

The rock and pop festival, which is organised each year by Radio 538, will be held as usual at Chasséveld in Breda on the 24 April.

Newly announced acts include Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Emma Heesters, Gerard Joling, Kraantje Pappie, Krezip, Kris Kross Amsterdam, Lucas & Steve, Maan, Miss Montreal, Racoon, Rolf and Sanchez.

“Newly announced acts include Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Emma Heesters and Gerard Joling”

Ticket holders will be required to take a rapid test no more than 24 hours prior to the start of the event and only those with negative results will be admitted.

Attendees must also take a second rapid test five days after the event. Vulnerable groups are excluded from participation.

538 Koningsdag is just one of many large-scale test events announced by the Dutch initiative. Yesterday evening the 3FM Awards 2021 took place at TivoliVredenburg, attended by 1,000 visitors.

Other upcoming large-scale Fieldlab events include a Racoon concert on 7 May (3,500 people) and a nightclub test event in Amsterdam on 15 May, which can be attended by 1,000 people.

Alongside the government-approved Fieldlab tests, the state has also announced 80 concerts across nine days as part of an extensive pilot programme of cultural activities – marking a test event boom in the Netherlands.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Fieldlab announces test event for 10,000 visitors

Fieldlab Evenementen, the Dutch initiative behind the Back to Live series, has received permission from the government to scale up its forthcoming test events.

538 Koningsdag (King’s Day), a rock and pop festival that takes place annually at Chasséveld in Breda, will be the largest Fieldlab test event so far, admitting 10,000 visitors.

The festival will take place on 24 April with artists including Snollebollekes, Davina Michelle, Chef’Special and Di-rect.

The event marks a second phase of the Fieldlab test events, whereby the organisers will trial certain measures with increased visitor capacities.

“It is great that we can do these upscaling tests, where we can test previously acquired knowledge with higher visitor numbers,” says Marcel Elbertse, chairman of Fieldlab Events.

“We are well aware that this is an absolute privilege, especially with the current epidemiological picture”

“We are well aware that this is an absolute privilege, especially with a look at the current epidemiological picture, where easing is not yet forthcoming. However, this new research is essential for the second phase of Fieldlab Events.”

Other upcoming large-scale Fieldlab events include the 3FM Awards taking place today (15 April) with 1,500 visitors, a Racoon concert on 7 May (3,500 people) and a nightclub test event in Amsterdam on 15 May, which can be attended by 1,000 people.

It was announced at the beginning of April that the Eurovision Song Contest would also become a Fieldlab test event, for which 3,500 people a day will be admitted to the 16,426-capacity Rotterdam Ahoy arena from 18 to 22 May.

Fieldlab recently shared the findings from the first part of its Back to Live test series, which involved a business conference and a cabaret show by the Dutch comedian Guido Weijers. The Back to Live series also included concerts, festivals and other live events.

See an overview of upcoming Fieldlab test results below:

15 April – 3FM Awards – TivoliVredenburg Utrecht – 1,500 visitors
24 April – De Efteling Kaatsheuvel – 8,000 visitors
24 April – 538 Orange Day – Chasséveld Breda – 10,000 visitors
1 May – Starting shot gala – Event area Lichtenvoorde – 10,000 visitors
7 May – Concert Racoon – Mainstage Den Bosch – 3,500 visitors
8 May – Mud Masters – Floriade terrain Haarlemmermeer – 9,000 visitors
14 May – The Residentie Orkest – Zuiderstrandtheater The Hague – 1,000 visitors
15 May – Nightclub – Club (tbc) Amsterdam – 1,000 visitors
16 May – Enschede Marathon – Twenthe Airport Event location Enschede – 5,000 visitors
17 to 22 May – Eurovision Song Contest – Ahoy Rotterdam – 9 x 3,500 visitors
20 May – EventSummit – Jaarbeurs Utrecht – 3,000 visitors
Date TBC – Back to Live – Walibi Event area Walibi Holland Biddinghuizen – 9,000 visitors

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Fieldlab shares results of initial Back to Live tests

Seated indoor events can take place as soon as possible – even with a high prevalence of Covid-19 infections – provided a certain set of measures are adhered to, according to a study conducted by Fieldlab Evenementen.

The Dutch initiative has shared the findings from the first part of its Back to Live test series, which involved a business conference and a cabaret show by the Dutch comedian Guido Weijers. Each event took place during February at the Beatrix Theater, Utrecht, with around 500 attendees.

Based on the results of the study, Fieldlab says that these so-called ‘type 1 events’, which take place indoors, with seats and where the public behaves calmly, can take place with 50% occupancy and without social distancing.

However, visitors must be tested before and after the event and wear a mask while walking around the venue. The recommendations are also based on a venue having good ventilation and separating large groups of visitors.

“Indoor, seated events, where the public behaves calmly, can take place with 50% occupancy and without social distancing”

Fieldlab has now presented the research results to the Dutch government and hopes that the Outbreak Management Team will provide advice on organising events in the near future.

The researchers say the results of the study are “encouraging”, noting that 98.4% of the visitors who attended the events adhered to the instructions and 80% of the visitors downloaded the CoronaMelder app in advance, so that track and trace could be carried out easily.

The number of contacts within a meter and a half and lasting longer than 15 minutes was limited, especially during the theatre test. This number was higher at the conference because people actively sought out colleagues and peers.

The Back to Live series, which has so far included concerts, festivals and other live events, will continue with the 3FM Awards in a few days time and the Eurovision Song Contest in May.

Alongside the Fieldlab events, the Netherlands will also host more than 80 concerts across nine days as part of an extensive pilot programme of cultural activities, announced by the Dutch government.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Eurovision Song Contest becomes Back to Live pilot

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands will take place as a government-backed pilot event with a small in-person audience, a Dutch minister has announced.

Arie Slob, a minister for media under culture secretary Ingrid van Engelshoven, tells De Telegraaf that it will be possible to admit thousands of fans to Eurovision, which returns this spring after cancelling in 2020, by bringing the contest under Fieldlab Evenementen’s Back to Live, a series of pilot concerts, festivals and other live events which has been running since February. The most recent Back to Live events, two test festivals held at the Lowlands site in Biddinghuizen, took place on 20 and 21 March.

Currently, it is hoped a maximum of 3,500 people a day will be admitted to the 16,426-capacity Rotterdam Ahoy arena from 18 to 22 May, though plans are subject to change should the coronavirus situation deteriorate.

As with previous Back to Live trial events, fans will only be permitted to enter the Ahoy after testing negative for Covid-19.

“We welcome this decision by the Dutch government and the possibility that we can invite fans to join us”

In total, there will be nine shows, including rehearsals, for Eurovision 2021, the 65th edition of the pan-European song contest.

“We welcome this decision by the Dutch government and the possibility that we can invite fans to join us as we bring the Eurovision Song Contest back in May,” says Martin Österdahl, Eurovision’s executive supervisor.

“We will consider the options now available and announce more details in the coming weeks on how we can safely admit audiences to the Ahoy venue in Rotterdam should the situation allow. The health and safety of all those attending the event remains our top priority.”

“The fact that we now have the opportunity to plan for a Eurovision Song Contest with an audience again is something we could only dream of [previously],” the contest’s executive producer Sietse Bakker tells public broadcaster NOS. “We are grateful to the cabinet and to Fieldlab Evenementen for this perspective and the confidence they have placed in us.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.